Trending Upwards: The Top 5 TV Shows for Fall 2012

Network television is generally… sh*t. But, then again, it always has been. It’s a mix of laugh tracks and reality programs masquerading as documentaries, and often the most creative folks on the Tube are the ad men. Hence, the popularity of Mad Men.

New or not, here are the Top 5 TV shows trending upwards for Fall, 2012:

1. Community

Getting cancelled is a blessing on television. Through three seasons that have been semi-interrupted by NBC’s mosquito-like attention span and Wonka Soap Gum bad taste, Community has fluctuated in and out of the airwaves and has consistently changed timeslots and nights.

The only thing that’s remained constant? It’s incredible. The humour and plotlines that surround all seven main characters, and the Geek/Fanboy-like loyalty of its viewing base have keep Community controlled by the population that loves it.

Every show falls off by Season 3: Entourage, Arrested Development, and even Lost. The Office stunk, and 30 Rock is as over as Family Guy.

But, Community? Somehow, through three seasons and now beyond, Community remains fresh and refreshed and funny. Every week is a new surprise, due to the fearless nature of its premise. It doesn’t settle. It always goes after a storyline that might offend or tank, but it’s always new.

Thank God we’ll see them all again soon.

2. Boardwalk Empire

It’s gotta be tough to live up to that wonderful little, hour-long soap opera known as The Sopranos. But, Boardwalk Empire is there. Now, a whole nation of folks who never tuned into Tony Soprano’s weekly digest are Boardwalk afficionados, but what’s made Series B as good as Series A is its creator Terrance Winter, and his ability to recognize one thing: never be afraid to kill anybody off.

While Tony lasted until the end of The Sopranos and Steve Buscemi will likely live for the duration of Boardwalk Empire, Winter and the folks at HBO’s dramatic department have never been afraid to part with any of its main characters. Pretty much everyone in The Sopranos got axed, and all at different times. Staggered, but sadistic.

It all leans off of that one, beautiful lyric said by Al Pacino in The Godfather: Part II – “If history has taught us anything, it’s that anyone can be killed.”

3. Girls

Is it good? Is it realistic? Is it really influential and inspirational, or is it just an airing board for twenty-something females who are struggling between Bohemia and Suburbia?

At its best moments, Girls hits home with all of us. It certainly has found a place in the hearts of several women who have just graduated university and are trying to locate the right Plinko hole to drop their future into.

But, throughout Season 1, Girls was just a show that did something no other show can: exploit normality.

Really, it’s boring. The characters aren’t interesting. Only one is attractive. It rejects almost every formula for success on 21st century television, but it’s still here. It exists solely because Gossip Girl can’t last forever, and it’s point is to completely contradict the Photoshop’d photo of Ashley Greene on every month’s Cosmo.

Hell, let’s get going. Come soon, Season 2. What Should We Call Me is running out of topics.

4. New Girl

The same kind of quirky, meta-beta comedy that has made Community the best gamble NBC ever made is Exhibit A of why Zooey Deschanel’s geek-loving, nerd fest is possibly TV’s finest half hour every week.

Sure, HBO can crush the drama (and, the comedy). Sure, women are popular as comedic leads.

But, really, New Girl is just damn funny. It’s not funny because a gorgeous geek is the lead or it promotes equality and diversity. It’s just damn funny. Plain. And. Simple.

Also, follow Schmidt on Twitter.

5. Happy Endings

If you don’t know, spend 30 minutes on YouTube by lacing through Elisha Cuthbert’s best moments of Season 1, most of them carried by the kind-of-chunk-but-oddly-extremely-alluring brunette with the nice eyes.

Then, try and not spend another five hours doing the same thing.